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Monday, April 25, 2016

A Bridge Too Far—From Completion

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) informed town officials today that the North Avenue Bridge over the Merritt Parkway—already eight months behind its reconstruction schedule—will be closed to all traffic Wednesday from 10 p.m. to about 3 a.m. Thursday.

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Construction workers on the North Avenue Bridge over the Merritt Parkway before work was halted last September. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

But don’t assume that the closure, which will include detour signs, portends that the project is nearing completion. Far from it.

Completion, which means two-lane traffic instead of the single lane with a traffic light for north and south bound vehicles, will not be untill Sept. 2, according to Kevin Nursick, CDOT spokesman.

There have been several reasons for the delays in the project, originally supposed to be finished before the start of the 2015-16 academic year in late August.

The first was that engineers found a series of hollow areas in the concrete that needed to be addressed.

Then, says Nursick, the temporary support system put in while work was being performed kept getting struck by oversized vehicles illegally using the Merritt Parkway.

“The integrity of the temporary support system was compromised; it was struck time and time again, and it even had an advanced warning system on it,” Nursick said.

Badly damaged, it was removed Sept 13. 2015, and a new one was put in with nary a dent since then from tractor trailers or too high delivery trucks trying to skirt the law.

—James Lomuscio

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Posted 04/25/16 at 05:11 PM  Permalink



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